Extending Social Security coverage to informal sector urged

Karachi: The workshop on “Promoting Workplace Safety & Health in Sindh” held here yesterday recommended the government to consider extending Social Security coverage to the informal sector, and urged to ensure that employers register their workforce under the Social Security schemes.

This workshop, jointly organized by Sindh Labor Department, ILO, EFP and PWF, engaged the Tri-Partite consultation between Workers, Employers and Government.

Speaking at the workshop, Secretary Labor Department Sindh Arif Elahi announced that the provincial government jointly with stakeholders has developed a consensus for action plan to prevent Baldia Factory Fire like incidents in future. “The action plan will include various initiatives to be implemented for the improvement of Labor Inspection System, Occupational Safety and Health, Work Insurance Scheme,” he said.

The Labor Department Sindh will launch the Action Plan by end of January 2013. The objective of this consultation was to help promote safety and health at workplace with the technical support of International Labor Organization (ILO).

Secretary Labor further said that his department will not tolerate any slackness in the enforcement of relevant labor laws. He however said that political interference, transfers, lack of basic facilities, political appointments and shortage of staff badly affected the performance of department.

He said Rs.0.7 million (Rs.400, 000 from federal and Rs.300, 000 from Sindh government) had been paid to each of 210 families members of Baldia factory fire victims. The government of Pakistan is also issuing pension to families of deceased at the rate of Rs.3600/ per month through EOBI and SESSI has also issued death compensation cheques to the families of 186 deceased persons and also disbursed survivor’s pension to the dependents/survivors of 180 till date.

He further said the labor department with the help of business leaders has been able to accommodate 200 workers who were displaced because of the tragic incident.

The Directorate of Labor Sindh has launched a registration campaign and successfully registered 913 industrial/commercial units in 80 inspections.

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